Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and partners have remitted about $2 billion (about N720 billion) to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 16 years, an official said.
SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, disclosed this on Tuesday at the final of 2019 SPDC-JV Environment Awareness Quiz Competition for Land Hub Community Secondary Schools in and around Port Harcourt.
He said the money was released to NDDC as part of the company’s contribution towards development of the Niger Delta.
“SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) and her partners have put in two billion U.S. dollars to NDDC, which is quite huge.
“The money was put into NDDC from 2002 to 2018,” he said.
Mr Weli said that besides the remittance to NDDC the company had made huge contributions on both human and infrastructure development in its host Niger Delta communities.
The general manager, however, pointed out that SPDC was a business venture, and so, should not be mistaken by the people as a government body.
“Shell is a business and it is a business that brings value to people. But the truth is that we cannot solve all the problems.
“We are not saying that we are not going to make efforts to make improvement; we do already.
“However, about 80 per cent of Nigeria’s budget is funded by the oil and gas industry and which Shell is right at the front in contributing to that.
“People call us to say ‘my road is not good.’ But maybe their road is in the money SPDC and its Joint Venture partners paid to government or to NDDC,” he said.
Mr Weli said that SPDC JV organised the quiz competition to create awareness among secondary school students on the importance of maintaining the environment.
According to him, the competition is one out of the many social investments that the company has sponsored in communities in its East Land Hub of operation.
“Today, we have seen exceptional students in the competition, meaning that the future is bright looking at quality human capital.
“However, enabling environment is also important.
“We should ask ourselves why is it that when people leave Nigeria to other countries, they become exceptional.
“We need to know what discourages people from growing.
“So, we need to stop whatever that we are doing that is driving away opportunities that these students need when they come of age,” he advised.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Community Secondary School, Aleto, Rivers, emerged winner of the prestigious quiz competition by defeating three other schools at the finals.
Community Secondary School, Rumuekini, Rivers, finished as runner up; Secondary Commercial School, Assa, Imo, was at third position, while Community Secondary School, Ndele, Rivers, came fourth.
Prizes won by the contestants included laptop and desktop computers, tablets, textbooks, school bags, student water bottles and trophies, among others.